This project has been funded by a broadcast network, but is awaiting the signing of the two protagonists in the show.
A special RV sits in Van Buren, Maine, in the farthest north-east corner of the continental U.S. Another waits in Imperial Beach, California, south of San Diego and Chula Vista, in the farthest south-west corner of the country. 3,459 miles separate the two vehicles and their human cargos.
On each RV, built to take the load, lies an individual weighing in at 500 lbs exactly. Myrtle and Fred.
Also on-board each RV, an MD specializing in extreme weight loss, and a lab capable of monitoring body chemistry during the weight-loss process.
The two RVs will set out and head for the opposite corner of the country. They’ll pass each other at the half-way point, on the outskirts of Rolla, Missouri, where they will stop briefly while Myrtle and Fred meet first the first time. Up until now, it’s all been email, IM, Facebook, tweets, and Skype.
From the outset, the RVs will progress slowly, because by the time they reach Rolla, Fred and Myrtle will weigh only 300 pounds each.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. Lose several hundred pounds and you will discover your skin organ hanging in folds. In Rolla, a plastic surgeon will tighten up Fred and Myrtle from head to toe. Bariatric surgery. The couple will be doing a lot of pain killers. These will provide their face-to-face interactions at a rustic picnic ground with a dreamlike quality.
The show: many ups and downs. Many highs and lows. Fred looses 80 pounds and realizes that, at 420 pounds, he is still far from his goal of 165. He rebels but his contract with the network is air-tight. The producers can starve him at will, as long as they don’t actually kill him. Four thuglike individuals follow the RV in a Crown Vic all the way across the U.S., for the purpose of strapping Fred down to his bed when necessary.
Myrtle tries to apply makeup for her first appearance on the show. At 500 pounds, she has a lot of face space to fill in with her liquid foundation. She runs out before she gets any lower than her nose.
In Pharisburg, Ohio, Fred sees a part of himself long hidden from direct view. He is impressed.
Time and again, Fred and Myrtle talk about food, but the network must cut away on the basis of good taste.